A SECOND Zimbabwean bus travelling to Johannesburg was on Thursday night attacked by three gunmen who stripped the passengers of money and cellphones between Polokwane and Mokopane towns. The Intercape bus was travelling from Harare headed for Johannesburg in Gauteng province.
The incident, which occurred along the N1 highway, comes three days after 21 Zimbabweans, who were travelling in an Eagle Liner bus, were attacked and robbed by a mob near Pretoria on Monday morning.
The unruly crowd was allegedly protesting the ruling ANC's decision to field Ms Thoko Didiza as the party's mayoral candidate for Tshwane in the forthcoming local government elections.
Didiza was nominated to replace the incumbent and protesters' favourite candidate Mr Kgosientso Sipulta Ramakgopa.
|Another Zimbabwean bus robbed in South Africa|
She said no one was harmed during the robbery which happened around midnight.
The police spokesperson said anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the gunmen should contact the nearest police station.
"We're investigating an armed robbery on a bus along the N1 between Mokopane and Polokwane.
"According to information we have so far, the driver stopped next to the road to let his co-driver take over. Three men emerged from the bush and entered the bus," said Col Otto.
She said the suspects pointed firearms at passengers and stripped them of valuables including cell phones and money.
Col Otto said after committing the offence, the criminals disappeared into the bush.
Police, she said, were yet to ascertain the actual number of passengers that were on the bus.
Col Otto said the police were worried about the recurrence of armed robberies on buses along the N1 highway.
"We're increasing our visibility in that area, which has become a crime hotspot, with marked police vans.
"Furthermore we're meeting with different bus companies to educate them on how to be more alert and aware and to stop only at secure places such as service stations along the highway," she said.
Intercape buses have become a soft target for criminals between Limpopo and Gauteng provinces.
In April last year, 48 Zimbabweans endured a four-hour hijack horror aboard an Intercape bus in neighbouring South Africa. Four pistol and rifle-wielding men got away with cash, cell phones and gadgets worth tens of thousands of dollars when they commandeered the Bulawayo/Johannesburg bus near Hammanskraal at around 3.30AM.
No one was injured in the robbery.
In May the same year, two Zimbabwean buses were attacked by armed highway robbers in South Africa. The buses, Eagle Liner and Citiliner, that were headed for Johannesburg, were attacked within a space of two days.